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Question about odd (to me) experience

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Question about odd (to me) experience
Answer
4/17/19 10:39 AM
Hello all,

I am new to this site and relatively new to meditation.  I started in July 2018 after being made aware of and reading The Mind Illuminated.  I have since read Mindfulness in Plain English and With Each and Every Breath.  I sit for 20 minutes daily while trying not to miss any days (i'll miss 1-2 days occasionally), and my practice thus far has been watching my breath at the base of my nostrils.

While i don't really care too much about strange experiences, I have seen the following so far (chronologically):

-bouts of crying while sitting
-bright lights - like someone shining a flashlight on my eyes while they are closed
-swirling blue, purple, or red lights
-access concentration-as i understand it-feeling "locked in" into watching the breath at my nose
-body tingling
-being able to focus on a feeling of "happiness", watching it expand and become overwhelming, and staying in that place with effort

Now to my question.  The other week while walking i was looking around at a tree.  Suddenly I had the experience/thought (not just thinking it....feeling it also) that the tree, and everything in sight, was coming from my mind.  It lasted for about 10 seconds then went away.  I then went about my day.  What was that?  Also, given my experiences thus far, where might I be on the path?  Thank you sincerely for any comments!

RE: Question about odd (to me) experience
Answer
4/17/19 2:05 PM as a reply to Aaron.
Welcome to the forum, Aaron!

Would you mind telling us a bit more about your reasons for taking up a meditation practice? What are your goals/intentions?

RE: Question about odd (to me) experience
Answer
4/17/19 2:08 PM as a reply to Aaron.
beginner's mind is the Way...

RE: Question about odd (to me) experience
Answer
4/17/19 2:56 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
Thanks for the response.  My goal is to see reality as it really is/enlightenment/whatever else it's called, and to experience peace from doing so.  I'm willing to do the work, and I know it might take a while!

RE: Question about odd (to me) experience
Answer
4/17/19 3:05 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
A little more info: i initially started meditation through being treated for anxiety disorder, and continued doing it because of the good results i started to see (more calm, less intrusive thoughts, etc...).  I am familiar with Buddhism through college courses, but I haven't really started wanting to achieve anything until after I started seeing what meditation can do.  I just want to "see"....that's the best way i can explain it!

RE: Question about odd (to me) experience
Answer
4/17/19 3:43 PM as a reply to Aaron.
Aaron:
 I just want to "see"....that's the best way i can explain it!

Great! It sounds like you know what you want and it is waking up.

As to where you are on your path, you are at the beginning. Which is a great place to be, beginner's mind and all. The experiences you describe are quite common and you will surely have plenty more along the way, along with boredom, frustration, and bad stuff. Ups, downs, plateaus--c'est la vie spirituel. The important thing is that you try to see clearly whatever arises in experience without clinging to, pushing away, or ignoring it, no matter what it is. That right there is more or less the nuts and bolts of practice.

It's pretty exciting when we first start having spiritual experiences that we didn't know were possible and so we need to learn not to hold on to or chase them. Everybody gets a bit attached in the beginning. But it's no big deal and none of it makes us special. At this point, probably the big thing you need to do is make daily practice a habit that you stick to no matter what, and it sounds like you're off to a good start.

The books you mentioned are both excellent resources. Another one you should check out is Daniel Ingram's MCTB2, which has a lot of good stuff in it but especially information on the cycles on insight and Mahasi vipassana (Daniel is the founder of this forum). Mahasi vipassana is a method that many in this community (including myself) have used for cultivating insight, or clearly seeing reality, and you'll find a lot of additional information about it here on the forum. 

Best wishes for your practice!

RE: Question about odd (to me) experience
Answer
4/18/19 8:30 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Thank you for your advice!